PWC School Board Report – Highlights from the Meeting on February 21, 2007

The interesting part of this meeting turned out to be Citizen Comments.  Nonetheless, we will begin with the Musical Presentation.

Musical Presentation

Overall, the Musical Presentation was more fun than the Citizen Comments.  The Potomac Middle School Singers turned in a nice performance.

Consent Agenda

The consent agenda packages a bunch of noncontroversial items together so that these items can be voted on in one vote.  Some of the more interesting items in this meeting’s consent agenda included:

  • January Payrolls — approve the payrolls for January in the amount of $39,782,157.64.
  • Disciplinary Committee Reports
  • School Board Meeting Minutes, February 7, 2007
  • Contract Award–Construction of Mill Park (Samuel L. Gravely, Jr.) Elementary School (IFB #S-LB-7602) — awarded to V. F. Pavone Construction Company in the total amount $17,250,000.00. 

Citizen Comments

There were numerous citizens making comments.  These comments fell into three categories.

  • February is School Board appreciation month.  So the students and staff continued to put out some effort honoring the School Board.
  • About 60 school bus drivers showed up requesting increased pay and benefits.
  • Teachers representatives showed up to complain about increased class size and their relatively smaller pay increase. 

Essentially, in response to the freeze in the tax rate, union organizers used this part of this part of the agenda to publicize their complaints.  These complaints from the unions are somewhat ironic.  Heretofore, when assessments were rising relatively faster than reductions in property tax rates, the tax happy labelled the reductions in property tax rates tax cuts.  Now, because assessments are dropping, the tax happy label fixing property tax rates a tax cut.  Only when it seems to affect their salaries do they begin to understand how assessments affect the equation.  Isn’t strange that such people are in the business of education? 

Confirmation of School Board Poll Concerning Legislative Matters  

  • The School Board authorized staff to take such measures as are appropriate to reflect the School Board’s opposition to budget amendment 135#17h, including the proposed letter regarding this amendment.  This amendment would remove funding for technology teachers (1 for 1000 students) and support staff.  The Board opposed this change 8 – 0. 
  • The School Board voted 1 – 6 to support House Bill 1727 requiring the school to notify parents about the nature of school sponsored after-school clubs.  Johns supported the bill; Lucas abstained.  The bill’s purpose is to make certain that parents know what these clubs are about and who runs them.  Such clubs are not part of the required curriculum.  Unfortunately, this bill has already been defeated in the Senate. 

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